Sunday, September 28, 2008

Google Books

Google is a great resource for genealogists on many different levels. Google Books, provides digitized books including new genealogy how to books, older history and genealogical books, and all kinds of non-fiction books. To search Google Books, just go to and search for a locality, a name, or a subject.

Newer books, will not be completely digitized. These are protected by copyright so you will find only a percentage of the book digitized and available. Older books, prior to about 1923 may be completely digitized.

I have had at least one person tell me of finding her ancestor in a family history book on Google Books with information she had not found previously. This is a great resource for genealogy whether you researching a family or want to learn more about research techniques.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Having Fun with Research!

Today I had the pleasure of presenting to the Ventura County Genealogical Society, . One of the compliments I love to get is that I made the presentation fun. That is so important to me because I think genealogy should be fun. Yes, research can be tedious, difficult and time consuming. And yes, there are ancestors you will research for years with little progress. But genealogy is and should be fun. Otherwise, why do it?

There is so much about genealogy that I love and I try to convey that when I present to societies. There are times that the research process gets to me but in those times I redirect my efforts. Genealogy is such a large field and there are so many things you can do besides researching that difficult line. It’s good to step away from a difficult project once in a while. For example:
  • Go read a genealogy how to book, and get some pointers.
  • Check out some new websites. Cyndi’s List (, Linkpendium( and Family Tree Magazine (, just to name a few, are great places to find genealogical websites.
  • Ask a friend if you can do some research for her. Working on someone else’s genealogy give you an opportunity to try to solve a different research problem.
  • Try transcribing some records, either through a large project like Family Search Indexing ( or start a project on your own. This allows you to become more familiar with records and what is available.

Genealogy is a lot of fun and exciting. Don’t let the process get you down, just change what you are doing for a little bit and give something new a try.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

You Tube

I always like it when you see genealogy in non-genealogical places. You Tube,, is a good example. You Tube is a website where you can post videos you have created. Videos posted on You Tube run a gamut of educational, weird, etc. But you can even look at genealogy videos on You Tube.

A search on the word 'genealogy' brought up over 1,600 videos. And these aren't just posted by individuals. Allen County Public Library and World Vital Records has posted videos as well. The term 'family history' brought up substantially more videos, over 40,000 but not all of those involve family history. Some just have the word family in the title. A search of the term 'Family History library' brought up a video on discovering Hispanic genealogy buy the Hispanic Genealogy Society of New York.

And don't forget that there is also historical videos on You Tube as well. A search for 'American Civil War' brought up videos and videos of civil war era pictures.

I will warn you that You Tube also has objectionable content so while it has some useful videos for genealogy, I wouldn't allow children to randomly search it.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Citing Sources

Tonight I am speaking at the Corona Genealogy Society,, about Citing Sources. As always, I have added some resources that are not on the handout.

Now, please remember this is a partial list and does not include resources already on the handout. The following are some good ideas for writing family histories. **Please note, I did not put these in proper citation format.

Genealogy cartoons at

“How to Cite Electronic Sources,” The Learning Page, Library of Congress at

Skillbuilding, Board for Certification of Genealogists at


► Writing the Family Narrative by Gouldrup
► You Can Write Your Family History by Carmack
► Producing a Quality Family History by Hatcher
► Genealogical Writing for the 21st Century edited by Hoff

“Resources for Writing your Family History” by George Morgan at

“How to Cite Sources” by John Wylie at

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sources for Saturday Presentation

Well, I am looking forward to speaking to the Orange County Genealogy Society,, tomorrow. As with many of my presentations, I tend to rewrite them right before presenting. This becomes a problem when you turn in a handout a week or more before the presentation. So because I did add new websites and ideas I am including them below. These might be of use for others who are interested in the two topics I am presenting, Catholic Church Records and Lives of Pioneer Women. Please note-these are not all of the websites that will be discussed. This is simply some additions to the original handout.

Catholic Church Records

American Catholic Historical Society at

University of Notre Dame Archives at

Early California Population Project at

California Libraries Catalog at

Online Archive of California at

Lives of Pioneer Women

BYU Women’s Manuscript Collection at

New England Women and their Families in the 18th and 19th Century at

National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, Pioneer Women Project at

WPA Life Stories Oregon at

American Life Histories at

Arcadia Publishing at

End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center at

Bold Sprit by Linda Lawrence Hunt at